Home insurance costs in Texas 2021

Home insurance costs in Texas

 

The second largest State of America is popular for reasons: you have the choice to call home several large cities, or prefer to live in a ranch. You can have access to a good level of education, and lots of employment opportunities, according to your qualifications. Most importantly, it comes up to you to live or not on a budget, taxes are generally low and housing costs differ widely across the State. This is also about homeowners insurance, which is an important investment for your future in Texas: while it isn’t mandatory by law, your mortgage lender will require you to carry coverage. Aside from this, you will need to secure your house from varied perils that could put an unwanted financial burden on you.

The position of Texas, facing toward the Gulf of Mexico, creates the issue of hurricanes and tropical storms: in the last decade, seventeen of them have caused humongous damages and losses, with insurers having to pay a big amount of money for claims. The high winds and heavy rains bring floods, with all the imaginable consequences. Thus, it is fundamental that you get adequate coverage from these likely and severe phenomenons.

The cost of homeowners insurance in Texas ranks the second highest in the U.S., behind only Oklahoma. This is right due to the high number and gravity of claims it receives: we found that the average annual premium through the State is $2,063*. Our research has taken into consideration quotes from the best-rated companies in Texas, as for costs-quality of service ratio: Amica, Allstate, Chubb, Farmers, Liberty Mutual, Nationwide, Progressive, State Farm, Travelers, Texas Farm Bureau Insurance, UPC Insurance, and USAA.

Premiums change greatly depending on where you live: Texas is a broad State, and there are several factors that influence how much you will pay, including the value of your house (replacement cost value), amount of coverage selected, and location within the city. We averaged all the quotes for nine of the most populous urban centers, and you see the resulting premium.

 

City Median home value Square ft Premium
Houston
$210,000
1,690
$2,055
San Antonio
$185,000
1,880
$1,975
Dallas
$230,000
1,605
$2,520
Austin
$390,000
1,785
$2,770
Fort Worth
$195,000
1,615
$2,600
El Paso
$165,000
1,695
$1,510
Arlington
$200,000
1,785
$2,350
Plano
$275,000
1,750
$2,220
Laredo
$215,000
1,665
$1,710

 

 

 

All the sample houses are insured for a $1,000 deductible, $300,000 liability coverage, and a different dwelling coverage, specific to the home values: premiums refer to homes replacement cost (not to their market value); that’s also why it is pricier to insure a $195,000 house in Fort Worth than an almost $400,000 property in Austin. However, the differences among cities reflect mainly their different level of overall risk exposure.

What coverages do you need in Texas?

 

A standard homeowners policy, like the common H0-3, covers most of the perils that can occur in Texas: wind, fire, hail, theft, and others up to a number of sixteen. However, severe windstorms require special attention, while floods and earthquakes are not covered at all, unless rare exceptions, and you will need separate insurance for those.

Wind damage is regularly included as a named peril, which also refers to harm caused by tornadoes. In Texas, by law, you must pay a windstorm deductible, which applies to any type of windstorm, including tropical storms and hurricanes, on top of the first deductible related to other perils. Due to a greater risk to be hit by hurricanes or financial issues of the homeowners, some houses can’t find coverage from any private licensed companies: the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA) offers wind and hai coverage for those residences in 14 counties, plus Galveston Bay. For counties that aren’t eligible for the TWIA program, and failed to get insurance anywhere, the FAIR plan can provide the missing coverage, so this is usually a last resort option, and limited to wind/hail insurance. Coastal properties in Texas are the ones that will likely require these kinds of policies.

Source: Insurance Information Institute

The most dramatic floodings are brought by hurricanes: flood insurance is definitely a necessity at least for properties closer to the coast and will be required in these cases by mortgage lenders. You have two options: either you purchase a dedicated policy through a specialized private insurance company, or through the publicly run NFIP (National Flood Insurance Program). The former is probably your best bet if you want to get cheaper rates and flexibility; the latter is considered to be reliable, even if providing only partial coverage in most cases, so our advice is to consider your priorities. This is how much you may expect to pay from the NFIP (data obtained dividing the total written premium by the number of policies in force):

  1. in Brewster County, premiums range from $1,054 to $1,448 a year
  2. in the inland Wilson County (community of Freer) 121 policyholders are paying $534 yearly.

These examples show you how the costs of flood insurance can differ, based on the distance from the coast.

Wildfires happen in the farther regions, typically in summer when the drought is maximum and can involve many rural houses together. If that is your concern, a basic homeowner policy covers fire, regardless of its entity; the only thing you must make sure is to choose a proper dwelling coverage amount.

Earthquakes hit Texas frequently, because of its seismic position, which interests central and some western regions, as well as of drilling activities. Quakes are of such low intensity as not being felt at all or causing little damages, however, more severe ones manifested themselves, and have the potential to arise again. Some homeowners who are about this issue should consider buying earthquake insurance because any standard policy doesn’t cover this hazard. The cost of such a policy varies greatly by level of risk related to location, size of your house, and construction materials. For urban residents, this kind of insurance is generally optional in Texas, but if you have the resources it’s worth buying.

How can you save on home insurance in Texas?

 

Given the high costs of insurance in Texas, it’s no wonder that homeowners are searching for ways to save some hundreds of dollars. This can be done by taking several steps, most of which are aimed to increase the safety of your home.

 

  • Is the building modern? If outdated, that is to say, more than forty years old, then you should consider retrofitting or some refurbishment over time, in order to lower your premium. This also relates to interiors: for instance, weak windows glass, wooden furnishings, and poor obsolete materials, in general, are risk factors of undergoing damages from natural phenomenons.
  • The roof is king, as concerns home insurance. In particular, it must be resistant to tornadoes, hurricanes, and hail: find out if it has proper anchor structures, e.g. through a contractor. It must be whole, made of the newest materials, and upgraded, so be aware of its expiration date. Being compliant with all this, you will get optimal insurance rates.
  • Consider strengthening doors and windows against high winds, installing automatic shutters for anticipating tornadoes, using water-repellent materials for exteriors, filling any gaps around entrances for limiting flood damage: any measures that mitigate damages will be rewarded by insurers.
  • Protect against fire: be equipped with an extinguisher if one isn’t already available, install smoke alarms, remove the wood objects, avoid parquet. A fire-proof house is cheaper to insure.
  • Prevent property crime: according to several statistics, Texas sees an average rate of crime overall, but this is going to be different city by city and among districts. High worth houses are generally more likely to undergo theft: you can install alarms and surveillance devices, but also have special locks and vaults will be surely repaid with a lower premium.
  • Give away aggressive pets: if your dog bit a visitor, he/she would claim your liability and ask for medical expenses, with possible suing. These can be huge expenses for insurers, who will charge you with a higher premium accordingly.

Be a disciplined payer: have your credit history in check, and try to improve your credit score. Stay in the range 670-739: this will mean you are an in-time payer and aren’t likely to ask for an insurance settlement, unless for serious issues. In turn, you get more affordable prices.

Especially if you are a new homeowner and you cannot follow these tips from the start, in order to get the best prices you can stick to the more general guidelines:

  • Compare quotes from multiple companies, have at least to choose between two options: this way you can save a lot because different companies evaluate differently the risk profile associated with your house. Select the best fit for price and service.
  • Increase your deductibles: that means choosing to pay more out-of-pocket when a settlement is needed, for spending a lower premium.
  • Combine home insurance and car insurance together: you will get discounts, in some cases up to 30%. However, this option must be carefully reasoned.
  • Be loyal to your insurance company: you will be rewarded at policy renewal.

Today you are one minute away to know your annual insurance premium, without unleashing personal data: use our tool and see how much you could spend, along with the right coverages based on the numbers you input. Modify the deductible, and watch the premiums change. Then, you will be ready to get real quotes from the most established companies in Texas.

*Methodology: we aggregated and averaged multiple quotes for every city of the State, assuming a 35 years old individual, married, with a good credit score. Our effort is to keep data always updated and the most accurate possible, so as to satisfy at best the consumer’s expectations.